Effective Communication with older adults is complex process and can be more complicated by age. One of the biggest problems physicians face when dealing with older patients is that they are actually more diverse than younger people
Respectable, good and effective communication with older adults is a significant part of their life and play a vital role in healing process. Your body language, eye contact, hand gestures, and your tone, all makes an effective message that you are trying to convey to older adults.
Communication with older adults can often be challenging, however, effective communication has research proven benefits such as
- Older adults are more likely to enjoy good communication and have better outcomes,
- They express greater satisfaction with their daily life routine
- They are less likely to have medical issues
- They are more likely open and relaxed while discussing their day to day life.
Learning and using the effective doctor and patient communication techniques may help you build more satisfying relationships with older patients and become even more skilled at managing their care.
Communication with older adults can also be stuck by the regular aging process. It may involve decline in memory, sensory loss, lessening of power and influence over their own lives, retirement from work, and separation from family and friends.
Sitting face to face with an elderly person can help to facilitate communication. Most of time in certain special issues we face difficulties while communicating with older adults, who are –
- Suffering from multiple illnesses and/or hearing and vision impairments
- Experiencing confusion or memory loss
Strategies for Effective Communication with Older Adults
Here, we have listed top 5 strategies for Effective Communication with Older Adults that will help you maintain good relationship with seniors –
- Stick to one topic at a time – Instead of instructing or conveying several things at a time, sticking to one topic at a time. Gives enough time for them understand the things properly and respond accordingly.
- Explain things simply and clearly – It is best to avoid any kind of jargon when speaking with older people. This isn’t really a good way to talk to older adults. Try to use language that is simple, clear, and non-threatening. Speak slowly, clearly and loudly.
- Listen carefully to seniors – Good communication depends on good listening, so be conscious of whether you are really listening to what older adults are telling you. Being a good listener is one of the best ways to be a good communicator. Give extra time to listen to them and give than an opportunity to ask questions and express themselves.
- Use short sentences – While communicating with seniors, simple words and short sentences works well. Précised & simplified information and speaking in a humble manner that can be easily understood is one of the best to ensure that seniors will follow your instructions. Speak slowly, clearly and loudly.
- Include more members while communication – Family and friends can help healthcare professionals to communicate with an older patient in a better way. Because they know how that person thinks. It may help to have a three-way conversation between the patient, their caregiver, and yourself.